September is Big Brothers Big Sisters Month and Jennifer Kemp, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island, is working to raise funds and awareness of the organization’s various programs and services, which are co-ordinated out of its Nanaimo office and clothing boutique store at 2030 Northfield Rd. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

September is Big Brothers Big Sisters Month in Nanaimo

Organization looking for volunteers and donations to support community services

Big Brothers Big Sisters will have a flag hoisted high to kick off Big Brothers Big Sisters Month.

The ceremony proclaiming September as Big Brothers Big Sisters Month in Nanaimo happens at city hall on Friday, Sept. 7, at 2:30 p.m.The public and supporters are invited to the proclamation, but the organization could use more than just symbolic support.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Month is celebrated in communities across Canada because of the role the organization and its volunteers play in helping children get a strong start in life.

“Mentoring is what we do,” said Jennifer Kemp, Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island executive director. “We’ve been doing it for over 100 years in Canada, over 45 years in the central Vancouver Island area, bringing positive adult role models together with children.”

Throughout September, the organization is on a campaign to raise $20,000, partly through its 20-20-20 fundraising initiative, which will call on 20 people to commit to donate $20 each for 20 months. Funds raised will help the organization hire an additional part-time worker to deliver Big Brothers Big Sisters services and programs in schools as part of its community mentoring program.

Kemp said the organization serves children who “fall between the gaps” – children who don’t require special education assistance or are considered high-risk, but are possibly in single-parent households or are being raised by grandparents and might not have consistent, positive adult mentoring.

“They might have been exposed to tragedy and those kinds of things, so going to school just doing the everyday normal things that we might expect from them isn’t always as easy, so we come along and bring that sounding board, that role model, that person that can kind of be there solid and consistent,” she said. “Someone who’s going to show up when they say they’re going to show up every time.”

Kemp said there are monetary returns from investing in children and that for every dollar spent, a child that grows up to become a healthy adult will inject $18 in the community through continuing education and better-paying jobs. Mentoring also helps prevent crime and other social issues that negatively impact communities.

“When you’re serving one child you’re kind of serving their whole world that surrounds them as well,” she said.

Big Brothers Big Sisters relies heavily on its volunteers and needs male mentors for about 60 boys currently on the organization’s wait list.

“We’re also trying to put the message of diversity and inclusion out there too,” Kemp said. “We’re here for anybody and everybody,” Kemp said.

To donate, become a volunteer or learn more about the organization, visit the organization’s website at, call Kemp at 250-756-2447 or visit the organization’s Nanaimo office at 2030 Northfield Rd.
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Bantam hockey provincial championships face off starting today

Nanaimo hosting B.C. Hockey’s Tier 2 championship tournament

RDN tipping fees set to go up this year

New bylaw to go to the Regional District of Nanaimo board table, fees would go up starting in July

Police warning of CRA scam at tax time

Nanaimo RCMP offering tips about scams during Fraud Awareneness Month

VIU Mariners men’s team takes 2019 national basketball title

Vancouver Island University defeats Sheridan Bruins 85-82 in CCAA national championship

Nanaimo students make statement at Global Climate Strike

Environmental groups, students and Green Party faithful turn up heat against global warming

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Manhunt launched after shooting on Dutch tram wounds many, kills 1

Police are considering the possibility of terrorism as a motive

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

Most Read